SEAN Dyche refused to blame the controversial penalty decision awarded to Manchester City as a reason for Burnley's defeat at the Etihad.

The Clarets went down 3-0 to the league leaders but they were holding their own until Bernardo Silva went down under Nick Pope's challenge on the half hour, allowing Sergio Aguero to give City the lead.

Burnley remained in the game until the final 20 minutes when Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane secured victory for City.

Dyche accepted there was contact between Pope and Silva, but insisted it had not been enough for the Portuguese midfielder to go to ground in the manner he did.

“They are a fine side and I can’t say it affected the outcome," he said.

“But although there is contact – and I have seen that there is now - I feel it is minimal.

“To get that high off the floor you’re your hands above your head is a skill in itself.

“If I kicked my kid in the garden he wouldn’t fall like that.

“There has to be a bit of almost what I’d call honour in the game. That’s out of the window because it’s not there.

“It’s a tough one. The problem is when you’re already going down and then there’s contact and then you go down with your arms above your head, which is almost impossible, and it’s frustrating.”

Dyche has regularly been an outspoken critic on diving in the game and players who are deemed to have deceived officials could now face a two-game ban.

But Carlisle United's Shaun Miller is the only player to be penalised so far, with Watford's Richarlison escaping a ban last week when he won Watford a penalty against Arsenal.

“I have brought up my opinion on cheating, the FA has a rule which already does not work already because we saw how it was when the Watford lad was not banned," Dyche said.

“There’s contact but you can’t fall like that as a 13 stone professional footballer.

“No one seems to want to change it. At end of the day there is contact, I just don’t think there’s enough to fall.

“It’s an important line – I have said I was a centre half and understand gamesmanship, but that was stretching it.

“It’s a professional understanding of the game, and today is right on the line.

“But I have to hold my hands up and say there was some form of contact as minimal as it was.”

Dyche added: "I’m not saying if it had gone for us we would have beaten Man City either because they are a fine side.

“It’s tough to come here and expect to dominate the ball, or to press all the time.

“They have a keeper who is ready to kick it. They’re more effective, their pressing lines are better.

“They have been playing some great stuff here for years. They have weaponry everywhere.”